Bronx school temporarily closes after 2 employees test positive for COVID-19

Maya Rajamani
September 11, 2020 - 4:58 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- New York City temporarily closed a special education school in the Bronx on Friday after two employees tested positive for COVID-19 within seven days, a Department of Education spokesperson said. 

P.S. 811X, The Academy for Career and Living Skills, will remain closed for at least 24 hours in keeping with the DOE’s COVID-19 guidelines, spokesperson Miranda Barbot said Friday. The guidelines require any school that reports two or more confirmed cases in a seven-day span that are “not limited to one classroom/group” to close temporarily, Barbot said. 

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“This is the same protocol for closure we will enforce one students return in-person,” she noted. 

Public school students in New York City will only return to schools on Monday, Sept. 21, but teachers and other staff members returned this past Tuesday to prepare for the fall semester. 

Seventeen other DOE employees have also tested positive for COVID-19, but the schools they work at “have not met the threshold for closure, as they are single confirmed cases at individual schools,” Barbot said Friday afternoon. On Friday evening, UFT President Michael Mulgrew said a total of 22 DOE employees had tested positive for COVID-19.

All of the employees who tested positive are in isolation, and the city’s Department of Health has partnered with its Test & Trace Corps to determine if anyone else was infected, she said. Free, “expedited” COVID-19 testing is available to all DOE staffers, and around 15,000 staff members have been tested so far, she added. 

“As we get ready for in-person learning, we’ll stop at nothing to ensure principals, teachers and school staff have the protections they need to stay safe and prepare for the school year,” Barbot said. 

“While we continue to navigate the realities of a pandemic, there will be positive cases — we are putting people’s health above everything else by quickly identifying and isolating positive cases, which is a leading effort to prevent transmission,” she added.